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Sri Lanka strikes back

SRI Lanka hit back with two quick wickets after Pakistan's three debutant bowlers held its much-vaunted batting lineup to a modest 292 all out in the first innings of the first test yesterday.

Pakistan was 15-2 at the end of the opening day's play in Galle.

Sri Lanka seamer Nuwan Kulasekera bowled opener Sulman Butt in the second ball of the innings, and later his partner Thilan Thushara trapped Khurram Manzoor LBW for two runs to leave the visitors on 5-2. Captain Younis Khan and night-watchman Abdur Rauf were batting at the close.

Younis Khan won the toss and opted to field. Mohammad Aamer, a 17-year-old left-arm seam bowler, provided Pakistan with its first breakthrough in the second over.

Aamer bowled opener Malinda Warnapura (2) off the inside edge, and then shaped one away from the dangerous Kumar Sangakkara (9) to force a catch at second slip by Shoaib Malik to leave the host team struggling on 21-2.

Sri Lanka was steadied by a 75-run stand for the third wicket, with opener Tharanga Paranavitana batting calmly for his maiden test half-century.

Rauf, a right-arm seam bowler, claimed his first wicket when he dismissed Jayawardene for 30.

Thilan Samaraweera was dismissed for 31 by Khan and Rauf returned to grab his second wicket when he had top-scorer Paranavitana caught for 72 at slip. Paranavitana faced 125 balls, hitting 11 fours during his spell.

Anjelo Mathews, playing in his first test match, scored 42 runs.

Aamer returned best figures for Pakistan with 3-74 while Rauf recorded 2-59. Debutant spinner Saeed Ajmal and Khan captured two wickets each.

Pakistan handed test caps to three players - Aamer, Rauf and Ajmal - while Sri Lanka allrounder Mathews played his first test for the hosts. Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath replaced Muttiah Muralitharan, who was ruled out of the match with an injured knee.


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